6 steps to make hiring easier and less scary – by Liz Trotter

Hiring isn’t hard – just find someone who is good at cleaning and hire them, right? I hope you can hear me laughing! Unfortunately, that’s probably the last thing you want to do, but we’ll get to that.
Other than the legal requirements, hiring can actually be a fun and creative process – and that’s the BIG SECRET! There is no guide that you have to follow, you get to do it YOUR way. Isn’t that why you started your company? To do something different, to make an impact, and to hopefully have a little fun along the way? Follow my 6 Steps to hire your first employee. It’s much easier and less scary than you’d imagined.

Make Some Decisions

What are your core values? The things that really matter to you? Quality? Dependability? Communication? Figure out the 5-7 things that really matter to you and get ready to stand by those things. Write them down, you will want to have them woven into every aspect of your business from now on. This is the single most important thing you can do to ensure that your first employee is the RIGHT employee!

What is your pay scale going to be? Figure out what you can afford and what you want to pay for this first employee (never below minimum wage). You will probably be taking a pay cut to hire them, but the plan is for them to help you quickly regain that loss and add to it. So what you start off paying will be able to grow. Decide now what that scale looks like so your employee will stay motivated toward the potential they can earn.

What benefits will you offer? Time to get creative! Chances are that you won’t have resources for the traditional benefits like medical/dental, but what CAN you offer? Maybe you can offer a flexible work schedule. One that works around childcare or school restrictions. How about the opportunity to help build a business from the floor up? Or how about lunch with the boss every month? Get your creative juices flowing and come up with 3-7 benefits that you can offer as a small business owner. Then plan to talk about them – a lot!

What will your training process look like? You can write it all down in advance or you can wing it and train/create as you go. It’s up to you! 


Place an ad on Craigslist or Facebook. Recruit your local barista with the great attitude, or just ask your friends and relatives – you’ll be surprised how many people want to help you. Make sure to talk about those benefits you decided on in step 1.


Now is when your core values come in handy. Create interview questions that help you determine if the applicants have the qualities you are looking for. Don’t hire people just because you like them or because they can clean. If they don’t have the same values as you, they will be doing things their way instead of yours – and that’s not fun! Find people whose values are similar, not identical.

Background Check

This one may not be fun or creative, but don’t take a chance. It could mean the end of your business.

Drug Test

Because this is your first employee and they will probably be working directly with you, it’s your decision about whether you test them or watch them and decide later. Just keep it on your radar. You will be taking this person into homes where drugs are available as well as things to sell to support a drug habit. You decide.


That’s it. You’ve done the work, now when you find the right person – take a page out of Nike’s handbook and Just Do It!

Liz Trotter is founder of American Maid Cleaning as well as an entrepreneur and leadership trainer based in Olympia, Washington. She is also a former ARCSI board member, a partner in Cleaning Business Builders, and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason.


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